BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (3 Nov. 2020) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), with funding support from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), is to conduct its first-ever regional skills audit to assess the competencies of the Caribbean tourism workforce.
The main goal of the regional human resource development (RHRD) knowledge and skills audit is to help Caribbean tourism planners and policymakers better understand how to most effectively leverage human resource development for a more innovative and competitive industry, the regional tourism development agency said.
CDB has approved a grant of US$124,625 from its special funds resources to help finance the project. The technical assistance grant came through the micro, small and medium enterprises unit of the bank.
“Given the tourism industry’s significant contribution to economic and social development in the region, it is of vital importance to undertake the skills audit, as it will provide insight and foresight on tourism workforce competencies, as well as skills gaps and imbalances in the tourism sector,” said Neil Walters, the CTO’s acting secretary general.
“We are truly thankful to the CDB for providing the funding for this audit. An audit of this kind is a necessary step in enhancing human resource development in Caribbean tourism, since there is a need to rationalise and streamline skills and knowledge development,” Walters added.
The regional financial institution has supported other CTO projects in the past, including a US$223,312 grant in 2017 for a programme to strengthen the business performance and overall competitiveness of tourism-related micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in ten CDB borrowing member countries through the Hospitality Assured programme. That same year, it also provided a €460,000 grant to the CTO to implement a project to increase the Caribbean tourism sector’s resilience to natural hazards and climate related risks.
“This audit will provide beneficial data and information to assist planners, strategists, policymakers and tourism human resource managers in more effectively identifying capacity-building needs and developing better targeted interventions,” said Daniel Best, the director of projects department at the CDB.
Among other objectives, the audit will seek to identify the specific leadership and workforce competencies required to meet the current and future needs of the region’s tourism sector and provide a detailed review of the critical skill sets and resources necessary for the development of a sustainable, high-performing Caribbean tourism workforce. It’s also expected to provide valuable information and recommendations that will assist with the development of policies and better planned interventions related to human capital.
Data obtained from the audit is also expected to contribute to effective human resource planning for the tourism industry in the region by providing a framework for decision-making to guide the development and refinement of tourism education and training programmes by academic and training institutions in order to reduce skills gaps and mismatches.
About the Caribbean Development Bank
The Caribbean Development Bank is a regional financial institution established in 1970 for the purpose of contributing to the harmonious economic growth and development of its Borrowing Member Countries (BMCs). In addition to the 19 BMCs, CDB’s membership includes four regional non-borrowing members – Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela and five non-regional, non-borrowing members; i.e., Canada, China, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom. CDB’s total assets as at December 31, 2019 stood at US$ 3.59 billion (bn). These include US$2.1 bn of Ordinary Capital Resources and US$1.49 bn of Special Funds Resources. The Bank is rated Aa1 Stable with Moody’s, AA+ Stable with Standard & Poor’s and AA+ Stable with FitchRatings. Read more at caribank.org.
About the Caribbean Tourism Organization
The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), which is headquartered in Barbados, is the Caribbean’s tourism development agency comprising membership of the region’s finest countries and territories including Dutch, English, French and Spanish-speaking, as well as a myriad of private sector allied members. The CTO’s vision is to position the Caribbean as the most desirable, year-round, warm weather destination, and its purpose is Leading Sustainable Tourism – One Sea, One Voice, One Caribbean.
Among the benefits to its members the organisation provides specialised support and technical assistance in sustainable tourism development, marketing, communications, advocacy, human resource development, event planning & execution and research & information technology.
The CTO’s Headquarters is located at Baobab Tower, Warrens, St. Michael, Barbados BB 22026; Tel: (246) 427-5242; Fax: (246) 429-3065; E-mail: CTObarbados@caribtourism.com;